While many of life’s stressors are beyond our control, what is important is how we respond to them. Often when stressed, we try to exert control over external factors and end up exacerbating our negative emotions. Therefore, it’s wise to focus on what we can control and find ways to relax instead.
If you have been previously focusing on the wrong things under stress, here are ten tips to steer your life in the right direction.
Put an end to junk food consumption
What you eat can affect how you feel. Just as sleep deprivation can make you more reactive, the same can happen when you eat the wrong foods. You know what this means if you’ve ever crashed from caffeine or sugar highs.
Stress can also trigger emotional eating. In other words, stress can cause even more challenges for those trying to maintain a healthy diet. To get help, consult a nutritionist. You must also find ways stress affects your eating patterns and how you can change them if necessary.
Drugs should not be used as a form of comfort
Sleeping poorly, depleting your energy levels, and weakening your immune system are all self-medicating effects. In addition to worsening your mood and increasing your substance abuse, you will also suffer mental health problems.
The effects of stress on the brain are similar to recreational drugs. Compared to non-users, drug users are more sensitive to everyday stress after long-term use. If your urges get too strong, you can seek medical treatment, such as detoxification or therapy, to overcome them. Facilities like Delphi Behavioral Health Group offer many services to suit your needs.
Don’t lose sleep anymore
There are many factors that contribute to stress, but lack of sleep has a more profound impact than we might think.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our cognitive function is impaired, leading to mistakes and anxiety.
It is also possible for stress to interfere with our ability to sleep well. However, you may be able to sleep better if you practice good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding televisions and computers before bed and going to bed at the same time every night.
Don’t dwell on the past
Stress is something we all experience from time to time. In order to better understand the situation and change it, we naturally think about these stressors. Sometimes, however, we can slip into an unproductive, overly negative, and obsessive way of thinking. This type of thinking is known as “rumination.” When we succumb to rumination, our minds multiply the pressure by constantly reliving the negative. Rather than thinking about how to fix a problem, we focus on what went wrong.
It is possible to become accustomed to dwelling on things, but it is also possible to break such a habit.
Don’t overload your schedule
The lack of downtime can make us feel more stressed, even when our schedule is packed with exciting events. It becomes even more draining if the schedule is cluttered with unnecessary or stressful activities.
The key to cultivating inner peace is to learn to say no to demands on your time and to eliminate the things that stress you out.
Exercise Now Instead of Postponing It
In the short run, exercise can help you feel less stressed; in the long run, it can help you become more resilient to stress. Many people know this, but they have trouble getting off the couch on a regular basis, especially under stress or when they are overworked.
Even though exercise can benefit us most, we don’t always want to do it when we need it most. Don’t be afraid to push yourself!
Put an end to negativity
Feelings of stress are more likely to occur when we don’t have control over the situation.
Interestingly enough, we sometimes think we have less control than we actually do. We can feel more empowered, optimistic, and less victim of circumstance when we acknowledge our choices, even if they are not the choices we wish we had.
Stop distorting your thinking
How you think can be habitual, and what you habitually think can make you feel stressed. If your thinking patterns tend toward optimism, this is great news. However, if your thinking patterns tend toward negativity, it can be quite damaging. We feel stressed more often when we maximize the negative because a perceived threat triggers the stress response.
To minimize negative thinking, focus on positives. Find the silver lining in things and be grateful for what you do have. You can also take the help of a trusted friend or a counselor to guide you out of the negativity.
Take advantage of every opportunity
As a result of stress, we can feel defeated or tired of fighting and miss the opportunity to take control of a situation. Sometimes we face disappointments or personal failures and choose to give up. This makes a temporary setback into something much bigger.
An optimistic attitude can help you feel happier and more grateful for what you have. It also lets you see opportunities you might otherwise miss if you focus mainly on what stresses you out.
Your stress doesn’t have to go unnoticed
The majority of people do not address their stress in a proactive way until they are overwhelmed. This results in reactive decisions rather than proactive ones, which doesn’t always lead to the best outcomes. Management of stress is a continuous process, not a one-time event.
An overall stress management plan involves removing and managing stressors, remaining aware of stress levels, and not letting them escalate.
Create a plan for managing stress so you can overcome it before your stress levels lead to health problems. Find information and resources to help create a stress management plan that combines short- and long-term stress relievers. Consider getting professional help if your stress levels are unhealthy and you feel like you need more support.